Your pc has a driver or service that isn’t ready – Windows 10 – 1903

I was attempting to update my home computer to 1903 to test the new Sandbox feature. When I ran the Windows 10 Upgrade Adviser, I hit the following error.

It would be great if this error message showed you what the actual issue was.

Luckily, there is a method to find this out.

  1. Open File explorer and click the View tab. Make sure the check box for Hidden items is selected.
  2. Select This PC, and type *_APPRAISER_HumanReadable.xml in the search box and search the PC for file names that end with this term.  
  3. Right click the file that ends with _APPRAISER_HumanReadable.xml and open the file with Notepad.
  4. Press CTRL + F and search for DT_ANY_FMC_BlockingApplication. Look for the value, it should be True.
  5. Press CTRL + F and search for LowerCaseLongPathUnexpanded. The value contains the file path of the program that should be removed or transferred to another drive.  (It should be located approximately 28 lines under the DT_ANY_FMC_BlockingApplication).
  6. Make note of the file path listed in the value for LowerCaseLongPathUnexpanded.  You can select the file path and copy it to the Notepad by pressing CTRL + C.
  7. Navigate to the file path’s location in File Explorer.  (Click in File Explorer’s address bar and press CTRL + V to paste the file path you copied earlier.)
  8. Once you’ve located the blocking.exe file, transfer the file to another drive or Delete the file.

You may also download run this batch file to automatically perform the steps above: https://aka.ms/AppRPS (You should be prompted to download a zip file named AppRPS.zip)

The zip file method is the fastest.

From the output, you can see the problem service. In my case, it’s BattleEye, an anti-cheat system for games.

From here you will be able to remove the problem applications or update the required drivers.

The information for my BattleEye issue can be found here. In my case, I removed BattleEye with the tool here, and reinstalled it again after the upgrade by running the game.

Hope this helps!

Permanently Delete Office 365 Groups

If you have created teams or channels in Microsoft Teams, you likely know this creates Office 365 groups. Many other Microsoft products in the 365/Azure space create Office 365 groups. This is Microsoft’s new group which allows great flexibility across services.

However, if you have ever decided to delete a Sharepoint site or Microsoft Team, you will find you cannot create another team or site in its place. You will receive an error saying this group still exists.

This is because the group was delete as a ‘soft delete’. Meaning it’s sitting in a recycle bin for a number of days until it’s permanently deleted.

You can speed up this process. The easiest way to do this is to connect via Powershell and run the following commands

  1. Launch Powershell
  2. Run the following command if you don’t have AzureAD installed
Install-Module -Name AzureAD
  1. Connect to AzureAD
Connect-AzureAD
  1. Remove deleted groups
Get-AzureADMSDeletedGroup | Remove-AzureADMSDeletedDirectoryObject

If you don’t feel safe running the above command, just run the Get-AzureADMSDeletedGroup first to see what will be removed.

This will take some time to sync.

Removing an Office 365 Tenancy

There may be a reason you wish to totally remove an Office 365 tenancy. In our case, it was that the company we looked after was sold. They wanted the data removed – and quickly.

It is possible now to totally remove a tenancy following these steps:

  1. Remove any licensing from the Office 365 tenancy
  2. Open Powershell
  3. Connect to Azure AD by typing
    Connect-AzureAD

    If this doesn’t work, you may need to install AzureAD. Do this by typing

    Install-Module -Name AzureAD
  4. Once connected, you need to connect to Active Directory or mosl. To do this type
    Connect-MsolService

    If this does not work, you may need to install msol. Do this by typing

    Install-Module -Name Connect-MsolService
  5. Disable dirsync with the following command, if enabled
    Set-MsolDirSyncEnabled -EnableDirSync $false

    This command will take around 30 minutes for all users to become in cloud users

  6. You now need to remove all users and remove them from the recycle bin. Type
    Get-MsolUser | Remove-MsolUser -Force

    Then after waiting 30 minutes or so, type the following

    Get-MsolUser -ReturnDeletedUsers | Remove-MsolUser -RemoveFromRecycleBin -Force

    This command removes the deleted users from the AD recycle bin

  7. The next script will remove all of the enterprise applications in AD. This needs to be done
    $ObjectIds = (Get-AzureADServicePrincipal).ObjectIdFor ($i=0; $i -lt $ObjectIds.Length; $i++){ Remove-AzureADServicePrincipal -objectid $ObjectIds[$i]}
  8. Once these commands are completed, you can check Azure Active Directory by going to https://aad.portal.azure.com. Select Azure Active Directory and try to delete it. You will get something like the following. In this case, once the licenses have expired (these we removed 12 hours ago) you will be able to delete the tenancy.

For more information check out the following links:

RemoteApp Slow after Windows10 1803 update on Server 2012 R2

As the title suggests, after updating Windows 10 computers to 1803, users have reported slow RemoteApp sessions.

You can try disabling Remote FX, but user reports suggest this causes further issues.

The easiest fix is to copy mstsc.exe and mstscax.dll from a 1709 build and replace the files on 1803. We have confirmed this works.

KB4103727 Breaks RDP/Remote Desktop Gateway

This morning we awoke to screams from users not being able to login to our remote desktop servers.

KB4103727 has been released which switches a flag to protect against the CredSSP attack.

The quickest way to fix this to get your users working is to patch your domain controller with the May updates and use group policy to push out a change

You can manually add this to the registry for desktop clients

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\CredSSP\Parameters] "AllowEncryptionOracle"=dword:00000002

or via command line

reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\CredSSP\Parameters" /f /v AllowEncryptionOracle /t REG_DWORD /d 2

To fix this problem, the May updates need to be installed on all servers and workstations.

More information:

 

Patch Tuesday: CVE-2017-11826 Microsoft Office

There is an in-the-wild exploit for Microsoft Office. A patch has been released. This exploit has turned up on Virtus Total today.

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Office software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Exploitation of the vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft Office software. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending the specially crafted file to the user and convincing the user to open the file. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website (or leverage a compromised website that accepts or hosts user-provided content) containing a specially crafted file designed to exploit the vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to click a link, typically by way of an enticement in an email or instant message, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file.

Patch Tuesday: KB4041691 & KB4041676 gona ruin your day

Microsoft has made a bit of a boo-boo this week. Hopefully, you haven’t auto approved patches this week.

KB4041691 and KB4041676 were pushed as delta updates through WSUS. First published on Twitter, but now there is a Reddit thread on the issue https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/75o0oq/windows_security_updates_broke_30_of_our_machines/

If you run into this issue, you will need to boot into WinRE and use DISM to remove the update.

With all updates from Microsoft lately, I recommend you lab them first. Don’t take the risk.

User Device Registration Event ID 304 307

With Server 2016, we’ve been getting a lot of these errors in the event log

This is caused by a task called Automatic-Device-Join which runs as a scheduled task whenever someone logs into a server (terminal server). This can cause a lot of events on the system.

Disable this task. This is used for Azure AD device joins. No idea why this is enabled by default.

OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration Flashes a black CMD window every hour

This is an annoying issue I’ve been trying to find the answer to for a couple of days.

I get a quick flash on my screen with a black box which looks like a command window. I finally had this happen on a slow enough computer where I could see where it was running from. See below.

To fix this issue, do the following:

  1. Open task scheduler from the start menu
  2. Find Microsoft Office under tasks
  3. Disable OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration

A fix from Microsoft on this issue is underway.